Our First Fifty Years
If you want to know the story of Jerry and Tina Lowden. You have to start at the beginning, when Jerry Lowden was born at Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley. CA. He was raised in Oakland, and then moved to Walnut Creek in late 1963. Meanwhile, Tina Sacramento was born at Niles Maternity Hospital. She was raised in Alvarado-Union City, before moving to Castro Valley in 1966.
It was less than one year after Tina’s move when these two lovebirds met. One magical night, July 1, 1967 to be exact, at the Starlight Room in Concord. Jerry knocked back his third beer and set his sights on the prettiest girl in the place. Tina was wearing a bold black and white checked dress and Jerry only had one plan. Finally, he worked up his courage, put his best foot forward.
And his heartfelt, “Would you like to dance,” was answered with an extended hand. They never returned to the Starlight Room after that night. And they never looked back at a life that did not include each other.
Jerry and Tina’s Wedding
In February 1968 Jerry and Tina, committed their love for each other, and became engaged to marry. The date was set. Five months later, on July 7, 1968, at St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Union City, they stood with love in their eyes. Jerry and Tina exchanged vows and rings and promised to share one family name for eternity.
They made their first home in Fresno while Jerry finished his BA in Sociology at Fresno State University. Tina worked in a medical office. Jerry planned to start a Masters degree program at San Diego State University. So, in September of 1969 they journeyed farther south where again, Tina found work in a medical office. Medicine was clearly in her future.
Jerry Joins Burke
At some point that winter, tired of being broke. In particular, a little bored with college — Jerry went looking for full-time work. He struck pay dirt at The Burke Company’s Emeryville facility in April 1970. Jerry stayed with his parents for the first two months at his new job. Then came down to bring Tina back to the Bay Area.
Burke was a national manufacturer and distributor of products used in the construction industry. Without a degree, Jerry never would have landed an interview. His foot in the door, Jerry started at a customer service position, before moving to outside sales. Then sales management, and finally ending his career as Burke’s Manager of the International Division in 1998.
Meanwhile, Tina — though a whisper pregnant — landed a position with Merritt Hospital Oakland in the spring of 1970. For Tina, this was the beginning of a long career in medical consulting.
Tina’s medical consulting
In 1982, Tina formed Medical Management Consulates. This company advised and trained front office staff to understand, to comply, and to facilitate the ever-growing government regulations. And insurance rules related to the medical industry. When that process moved in-house, large organizations developed their own internal training staff. Tina tailored the focus of her consulting business to assist small businesses. And renamed her company, Lowden & Associates.
Tina earned her BA degree in Business Communications from Holy Names University. In addition to working full time she took night and weekend classes 1993 to 1997.
It was a great achievement that required as much discipline as it did energy. In a serendipitous twist that was as unplanned as it was a blessing, their daughter Karen also graduated from Holy Names with a BA in Liberal Arts and a minor in Spanish at the same time as her mother. Their son Richard received his BA in Political Science from San Diego State, where Jerry had planned to go.
The introduction of the Lowden children begins with the birth of their son. Richard Malcolm was born at Alta Bates Hospital on February 5, 1971. Karen Tina, was born 14 months later at the same hospital on April 24, 1972. Following the footsteps of their parents, both children were blessed to find life-long loves to share their futures.
To begin with Richard cemented his bond with Linnea Andren when they married in August, 2003 at Pemaquid Lighthouse in Bristol, Maine. Karen married Carl Abude in February, 2006 at the South End Rowing Club
(SERC) in San Francisco, CA.
Their unions of love have blessed Jerry and Tina with four grandchildren; Jasmine Marie Abude, Annalina Evelyn Lowden, Kai’noa Aaron Abude, & Marco Makana Abude.
When Jerry resigned from the Burke Company in February of 1998, thirty years after he first proposed to her, he joined forces with Tina. Lowden & Associates set its sights in a new direction, by selling American-made products to the international construction market.
Unwilling to stop working completely, they continue this business today in a semi-retired mode.
Legacy of Love
Oakland was a busy place for the Lowden family from 1970 – 2013. Jerry and Tina found adventures in Richard and Karen’s school activities and involvement in community projects. Jerry enjoyed the city-wide volleyball league both he and Tina participated in for a number of years. He found a strong community of people swimming with The Hills Masters group. And in the open water with The South End Rowing Club (SERC). Jerry’s final open water swim was in 2013. A race that stretched the length of Donner Lake, where he placed second in his age group. Now that he’s retired from open water swimming, Jerry’s other hobby is working on the potters wheel.
Tina was a fixture on the tennis court — her favorite being doubles. Sometimes she even let Jerry play on her team. Tina was also a long-distance walker. Roaming from the Oakland Hills and over to Alameda, like it was all no big deal. This inevitably led to several 5 & 10 K runs. And about five Bay to Breakers runs, some included Karen by her side. Tina still enjoys swimming in the Bay with the SERC in the warmer months. She has twice swam from Alcatraz Island to the beach at Aquatic Park in San Francisco. She is also an accomplished quilter, sharing her works with family and others for the past 25 years.
As former active members of St. Columbus Catholic Church, Jerry and Tina participated in the design and development of the surrounding landscape. Along with other parishioners, including Jerry’s brother Ted. He likes to dig and pull weeds. Tina was active in the docent program for the newly constructed Christ The Light Cathedral in Oakland. The design of the facility has received numerous architectural awards. Visitors continue to arrive from around the nation, and world, just to walk through its doors.
On every adventure the thing that brought them the most joy was spending time with their extended families. There have been so many weddings, births, special occasions, and the unfortunate, and thankfully few hospitals and funerals.
Every year ending with Tina’s favorite tradition, the Cinnamon Roll Baking Day at Christmastime. Since about 1977, family members ranging in age from almost-1-year-old to the should-be-setting-the-example overgrown kids play a role in the mixing, baking, and eating. Jerry’s part in the event usually involves a mop and a vacuum.
A New Adventure
In late 2013, Jerry and Tina moved from their long-time home. Trading in the Oakland Hills for a new home in Winters, CA. In this home, where they had lived for 37 years, they had shared many of life’s road marks. Ranging from birthdays to special celebrations.
Their marriage had survived two major remodel projects, each one expanding their views of the three bridges and city skylines. It was a sad time for them. But they felt it was time to downsize. And come to grips with the effects of aging as it related to the hills and stairs. Move on to the next journey.
Winters is a wonderful town. Level, easy bike riding, managed by a city government that cares about the quality of life, the day-to-day maintenance of the town, and its people. Though it sits in the heart of a huge agricultural region it is by no means isolated. All major services and shopping adventures are but a few minutes away. It becomes clearer to them every day that this was the right move.
In their fifty years Jerry and Tina have traveled both on business and pleasure to countries including: Philippine Islands, Guam, Australia, Russia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Chile, England, Scotland, Ireland, Thailand, Pakistan, Rep. South Africa, Canada, Singapore, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Armenia, Germany, Slovenia, Hungary, and Austria.
Now they plan to tour the U.S.
Throughout their married life, the symbol of Marriage In Christ has hung in their homes.
It was on their wedding cake and it tops their 50th Anniversary Cake today.
The two wedding rings entwined on a cross, or Chi Rho, symbolize the union of a couple in Christ.
Thank You for Sharing their 50th year “as one”
About the Storyteller
Tell yours with a Storyteller. Email firstname.lastname@example.org about a writing or podcast project.